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By JoEllen Black/Richmond News
The 345,000-volt electrical transmission project slated to cut through Ray County has those affected wanting more answers – and others wanting a fair market value for property easements.
In late June 2013, Midwest Transmission Project, in partnership with KCP&L and Omaha Power Public District, announced its final route for a 180-mile line that will run between Sibley and Nebraska City, Neb.
In Ray County, the line’s route runs northeast from a KCP&L substation at Sibley to Highway 210 directly east of Orrick, then due north through Ray County – west of Richmond and east of Lawson.
The line will veer west and continue to a new substation south of Maryville and on to an existing substation south of Nebraska City.
The project is an electrical “interstate,” as Derek Ward, supervisor of right-of-way, explained. Its purpose is to alleviate congestion in the metro area and allow for improved and reliable electrical power for the next 20 years for five million customers in nine states, according to KCP&L.
Cost of the transmission line project is $400 million.
It will require property easements, mostly 140 feet wide, to accommodate power cables that’ll be strung on single or H-frame poles, depending on terrain.
Ray County commissioners, with aid from Congressman Emanuel Cleaver and Sen. Claire McCaskill’s office, requested a meeting with KCP&L representatives to listen to landowners concerns Jan. 31 at Ray County Courthouse. State Rep. Joe Don McGaugh was also in attendance.